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Auschwitz survivor and her rescuer celebrate 70 years of marriage

Edith Steiner and John Mackay
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This Holocaust survivor married the soldier who rescued her, and they spent over 7 decades together.

In 1944, Edith Steiner was only 20 years old when she was liberated from Auschwitz by a Scottish unit of soldiers which included John Mackay, a 23-year-old soldier who had escaped from a prisoner of war camp by disguising himself as an Italian soldier.

Edith and her mother were the only members of her family to survive the Holocaust, having lost 39 other relatives. Her time in Auschwitz also overlapped with that of the infamous Angel of Death (Josef Mengele), an SS officer renowned for his deadly experiments on humans.

It was at a dance celebrating their release that Edith was first approached by a friend of John’s asking her if she would dance with him, but Edith responded that she wanted John to ask her himself. And he did just that. The two of them were married on July 17, 1946.

Edith Steiner and John Mackay
Wullie Marr for BUPA | Deadline | Fair Use

The couple later owned a hotel together in Scotland and had two children, Sharon and Peter.

Edith Steiner and John Mackay
Wullie Marr for BUPA | Deadline | Fair Use

Edith passed away earlier this year, but not before she and John celebrated their 71st Valentine’s Day together. The photos of Edith and John on this special Valentine’s went viral, and it’s not hard to see why. The couple stands as a beautiful testimony not only to long-lasting love, but also to love found in the most painful of places.

Edith Steiner and John Mackay
Wullie Marr for BUPA | Deadline | Fair Use
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